The convention devolved into chaos this weekend, amid disagreements over rules and delegate counts. Sanders and his supporters believe that the candidate has been cheated out of delegates and that the party has favored Hillary Clinton in the convention’s proceedings. At the event, Sanders supporters reportedly “shouted, cursed, and screamed,” while hurling chairs and vandalizing buildings. Since Saturday, Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange has received scores of death threats.
In a statement released by the Sanders campaign this afternoon, though, the senator declined to accept responsibility for the tumult. Instead, Sanders distanced himself from his supporters’ worst actions while still criticizing the Democratic Party. The statement reads, in part, “Our campaign of course believes in non-violent change and it goes without saying that I condemn any and all forms of violence, including the personal harassment of individuals.” But it also declares that “millions of Americans are outraged,” suggesting that the actions of his supporters in Nevada are manifestations of this political angst.
“If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned,” the statement reads. “Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place.”
Clinton won the Nevada caucus in February with 53 percent of the vote, to Sanders’s 47 percent.